FM Dar to ‘soon’ visit Afghanistan as Pakistan faces cross-border terrorism

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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar chairing a meeting in this undated picture. — APP/Files
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar chairing a meeting in this undated picture. — APP/Files
  • Dar says security major issue Pakistan has with Afghanistan. 
  • Says evidence suggests “TTP involvement in attacks on Chinese”. 
  • Dar says he made utmost efforts to assist govt economic team.

ISLAMABAD: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar said Tuesday that he would soon visit Kabul as Pakistan tackles a rise in terrorism, which it attributes to terrorists being harboured in Afghanistan.

Militancy has seen a spike in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces bordering Afghanistan since the Taliban administration came into power in 2021, with Pakistan persistently asking the interim rulers to stop cross-border attacks and take decisive action against militants operating on its soil.

“I will leave for Afghanistan in a couple of days. Afghanistan is our brotherly country,” he said, speaking at the first meeting of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Irfan Siddiqui on Tuesday.

Foreign Secretary Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi was also present in the meeting.

“We had and will continue to have a very close relationship with Afghanistan. You can’t change your neighbours.”

Responding to a question, the foreign minister said Chinese nationals were attacked in Dassu, adding that such attacks are meant to create rifts between Pakistan and China. Unfortunately, the clues of these incidents signal the involvement of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the outfit exists in Afghanistan, he underscored.

During the second quarter of this year, Pakistan witnessed 380 violence-linked fatalities and 220 injuries among civilians, security personnel, and outlaws, resulting from as many as 240 incidents of terror attacks and counter-terror operations.

This includes 236 fatalities among civilians and security forces personnel, the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) Annual Security report said.

“Security is our major problem that Pakistan has with Afghanistan,” he said, also highlighting that the polio virus has resurfaced in Pakistan. However, the crippling disease was uprooted in 2018, he noted.

Dar also spoke about the financial situation, saying, “Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has clearly stated he would not seek debt from any brotherly country, any longer.”

Pakistan will have to focus on economic diplomacy if it has to steer clear of the current financial crunch, he said, clarifying, “I have made the utmost effort to lend assistance to the government’s economic team.”

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